Study: New Cholesterol Drugs Effectively Lower LDL Levels
People who have high cholesterol were given fresh hope this week that new, effective cholesterol-lowering drugs could be a reality in the near future. An experimental class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibtors were presented over the weekend at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, and The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that they were shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by two-thirds across a number of different patient groups.
Currently, the most commonly used weapon against cardiovascular disease is a group of medicines called statins — drugs that went on the market more than 25 years ago — but statins have a number of complications. Now, both health experts and patients have hope that the new drugs will eventually be able to join the fight against high levels of LDL cholesterol, a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
According to the Journal, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) is the company that sponsored the phase 3 studies of PCSK9 inhibitors over the weekend, while Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) also financed an additional phase 3 trial. Funds for phase 2 data came from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). Each company is fighting for its own rights to the drugs that could potentially enter into a hungry pharmaceuticals market. The results over the weekend clearly showed that the new drugs really do have a significant effect on LDL cholesterol levels.
Steve Nissan, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, explained to The Wall Street Journal that ”There’s not a shred of doubt that this is a very efficacious way to lower LDL.”